Citi Prestige Card Review
2019.1 Update: This card is available now! The offer is 50k.
2018.10 Update: There will be a new benefit in May 2019:
- Cellphone protection for damage and theft
There will also be some negative changes to current benefits in Sep 2019 (date not announced):
- 4th night free benefit will be limited to 2 times per calendar year. Currently it’s unlimited.
- Currently, with this card, you can use your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cent/point on airlines on thankyou.com. After Sep the rate will become only 1 cent/point, so you shouldn’t use this redemption method any more because you can redeem for cash at 1 cent/point as well.
- 2x TYP on entertainment will be removed.
- The annual fee will be raised from $450 to $495. The $350 annual fee because of Citigold relationship will be grandfathered.
The raise of the annual fee is OK in my opinion. The remove of unlimited 4th night free will be a really bad news for a few people, but I believe it is acceptable for most users. Generally these are fairly good changes!
- 50k offer: earn 50,000 ThankYou Points (TYP) after spending $4,000 in first 3 months.
- We estimate that ThankYou Points (TYP) are worth about 1.3 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 50k sign-up bonus could be worth about $800!
- If you have this card, you can transfer your TYP to partner airlines miles. Besides, with this card, you can also use your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cent/point on airlines on thankyou.com. This makes TYP worth at least 1.25 cents/point!
- [New] Earn 5 TYP per $1 spent on restaurants and airlines, 3 TYP per $1 spent on hotels and cruises, 2 TYP per $1 spent on entertainment, and 1 TYP per $1 spent on other purchases.
- [New] $250 annual (year resets on the Dec statement date) travel credit (including airline tickets, hotels, OTA, transportation, etc.). Just use your card to pay the expense, and the reimbursement will show as a statement credit in the next billing cycle.
- Complimentary 4th night for any hotel stay worldwide (need to stay for continuous 4 or more nights). Unlimited times for now, but 2 times per calendar year after 2019.9.
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select (PPS) card, which gives you free access to many airport lounges worldwide. With this Priority Pass Select (PPS) card, you can bring 2 guests with you for free!
- This is a World Elite MasterCard card (WEMC), the cardholder will receive complimentary premium membership of major car rental companies provided by WEMC, including Avis, National, Hertz, Sixt.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry application fee. Note that this card does NOT reimburse TSA Pre✓ application fee.
The trip delay insurance is the best among all credit cards. They will reimburse you for expenses you incur because of the delay if the plane is delayed by 3 hours! Other cards typically have this benefit kick in after a 12 hour delay…It is changed to 6 hours in 2018.7, so it’s no longer outshine all others.
- No foreign transaction fee.
- Authorized users also receive Priority Pass Select card, and they can also bring 2 guests with them for free. The $250 annual air credit is shared between the cardholder and authorized users.
- Annual fee is NOT waived for the first year, and is divided into two types:
- $350 annual fee: if you are a Citigold customer, then you can automatically get this annual fee no matter where you apply. Even if you apply online using a $495 AF version link, your AF will become $350 automatically. If you are not a Citigold customer, then in order to get this lower annual fee, you have to apply in branch and ask the banker to select Citigold for you (Citi will not verify) and then apply.
- $495 annual fee: if you are not a Citigold customer and you apply online, you can only get this $495 annual fee version. We don’t recommend applying online because of a higher annual fee.
Note that annual fee does not count towards the minimum spending requirement (and this is true for all credit cards)!
- Each authorized user costs $50 per year.
Introduction to TYP
- You can earn TYP with Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Rewards+, Citi ATT Access More, etc.
- You can add all these cards into the same thankyou.com account, and points that are about to expire will be redeemed first in the order in which they expire automatically.
- In most cases, TYP never expire. But closing account, product change, or receiving points from other people may cause TYP on that account to expire.
- If you have Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, TYP can be transferred to some airline miles. The best way to use TYP is to 1:1 transfer them to Asia Miles (Oneworld) or Avianca (AV) miles (Star Alliance). Other good options are: Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use TYP in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have Citi Prestige or Citi Premier, you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards air tickets on thankyou.com; if you have Citi Premier, you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards hotels on thankyou.com. This is one of the most common way to use TYP. Points+cash is available when redeeming for air tickets, so no need to worry if you do not have enough TYP.
- If you have Citi Prestige, or you use the "Student Loan Rebate" trick, then you can redeem your TYP at a fixed rate 1 cents/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that TYP are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about TYP, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to TYP: How to Earn & Introduction to TYP: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- [1/24 Rule] Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, or if you have closed any of these cards, in the past 24 months. Product change is treated as account closure if the account number is changed.
- [8/65 Rule] You can apply for at most 1 Citi cards every 8 days, and at most 2 Citi cards every 65 days, no matter approved or not.
- Citi values the number of recent hard pulls a lot, we recommend you apply when you have less than 6 hard pulls in the past 6 months.
- We recommend you apply for this card after you have a credit history of at least one year.
If you only keep this card for one year, you will get 50k TYP (worth about $800) and two airline fee credits ($250*2), the cost is the first year annual fee $350. So in total, the net gain is about $950! If you want to keep this card longer term, your equivalent annual fee is only $350-$250=$100. Keeper or not, this is a fantastic card to apply for! The other highlight of this card is the complimentary 4th night free benefit. Travelers can save a lot on this benefit. And don’t forget that Prestige card does provide probably the most generous trip delay insurance among all premium credit cards. Using either 4th night free benefit or trip delay insurance can easily pay for the card multiple times over! The equivalent annual fee is only $100, which is worthwhile if you can make use of any of those perks above. If you want to keep only one card with $100+ annual fee, the Citi Prestige is probably your best choice.
Related Credit Cards
Recommended Downgrade Options
- Citi Rewards+. We recommend you downgrade this card to these no annual fee cards that can earn TYP, because you can keep your TYP if so. If you downgrade this card to DC/Dividend, the TYP you earned from this card will expire in 60 days.
- Call 888-201-4523 to check Citi application status.
- Citi reconsideration backdoor number: 605-331-1698. This is a so called “Citi EO” (Executive Office) phone number. This phone number is not designed to make reconsiderations, but the representatives are really helpful.